Portuguese man-o-war

The Portuguese man-o-war (Physalia physalis) definitely earns its name with a powerful sting! The name is inspired by their very stylish sail that floats above the ocean’s surface, resembling 18th-century Portuguese warships. Although these organisms are mostly recognized and feared due to their sting, they are also an important part of the ocean surface ecosystem.  Man-o-wars are clones colonies, with each clone performing a unique job. There is the bag-like float above the surface and multiple specialized clones that make up the tentacles and underwater portion of the man-o-war. Some clones specialize in feeding, others in prey capture, and others in reproduction. The tentacles of the Portuguese man-o-war can be anywhere from 50-100 feet long, and they primarily eat fish and fish eggs. They often wash up on shore in large numbers, but these should still be avoided as they can still sting even on the beach. Next time you see one of these take a moment to appreciate these strange creatures.

In the past 3 weeks, our GO-SEA members have more than doubled and we now have over 500 observations!! I want to thank all of our members for their participation and would like to let everyone know that we are planning our first virtual meeting with our iNaturalist participants to discuss the experience of joining our project, more details about the project, and answering any questions anyone might have! If you would be interested in attending please direct message us for details!

That's all for this week, happy hunting!

-Ari Puentes

Publicado por goseascience goseascience, 10 de septiembre de 2021

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